Foudini the Magician
The kids are in bed. The adults have kicked back. Mommy in front of the computer for a little editing and writing, Daddy catching up on DVR'd shows.
Her husband warns her that the 2 year old might soon reappear. He says Fiona somehow opened the locked door of her room while he was up there.
Sure enough, Foudini bounds triumphantly into the TV room and chirps, "I came downstairs." And she throws herself onto the sofa, giggling.
"I got out," she says gleefully and laughs maniacally. She knows she's outwitted her parents.
Mommy and daddy look at each other. They really had no backup plan for this one. Their plan was just to keep her locked up at night until she was old enough to understand and obey the command "Stay in your bed." When she's not locked down, she climbs into her brother's crib. This is really the safest arrangement for everyone.
And mommy really has been too sleep deprived to do the Super Nanny procedure -- returning the scofflaw to bed repeatedly and without emotion until she stays. The baby is now sleeping through the night so it might be time for some actual consistent discipline.
Their only other option is to keep her up all day long so that the child passes out from exhaustion before they leave her room. Some days the poor kid hasn't made it to bedtime and falls asleep at the dinner table.
Mommy and daddy escort her back upstairs and ask her to show them how she got out.
"I got a key," she says, clearly delighted with all the attention. She presented them with a plastic fork and Mr. Potato Head's arm, neither of which fit in the keyhole.
They tucked and locked Foudini in and didn't hear from her for the rest of the night.
Within two minutes of Fiona's arrival in the kitchen, she pulled the marshmallows out along with the basket of rices and beans. Mommy was in the kitchen when this happened, yet she has no idea when or how this happened. In fact, she's so convinced that it didn't just happen while she was standing right there that she called her husband at work to ask if he had noticed anything on the floor that morning.
Foudini strikes again.
Fiona tells mommy, "Leave my door open."
Mommy decides to give it a shot. She tells Fiona to stay in her bedroom.
Five minutes later, the girl is screaming in her bedroom. She had left her room and was escorted back and locked in by her big brother, Deputy Dan.
Mommy tucks a teary Fiona back in bed, says good night and leaves with the admonishment to stay in bed.
Five minutes later, the girl skips into the living room. "I came downstairs," she chirps.
Mommy decides to employ the Super Nanny trick. What the heck? A few extra trips up the stairs would be good for a little butt and leg toning.
One trip. That's all it took that night. That was too easy, mommy thinks.
"I think she just wants us to trust her a little more," mommy tells her husband.
Fiona waltzes into mommy's bedroom at 7 a.m. Mommy naively assumes that she was Fiona's first stop that morning.
On her way down the stairs, she spots an open bag of marshmallows. She'd climbed over the baby gate to get downstairs to her beloved marshmallows in the childproofed cabinet.
Foudini strikes again.
Six trips up and down the stairs returning a gangly 26 pound scofflaw back to her bed.
Ah. This is the workout mommy was looking for.